HAMPTON, Va. – The Peninsula Pilots rebounded from last night’s tough loss with a solid 4-2 win over the Fayetteville SwampDogs on Monday night at War Memorial Stadium.
After a 21-run outburst between the two teams the night before, the two teams jumped out in the first three innings and then strong pitching kept both teams off the board the rest of the way.
Fayetteville (28-17, 10-7) jumped on the board first with a solo shot by Jayson Newman (Cal State Northridge).
Peninsula (26-18, 10-6) responded with four runs in the bottom of the frame to take the lead. Drake McNamara (Southern Indiana) led off with a single off the pitcher, Corey Treyes (Coppin State). After a sacrifice bunt by Jonathan Embry (Liberty) moved McNamara to scoring position, Sam Griggs (Southern Indiana) deposited a ball into the visitor’s bullpen for a two-run home run. Connor Stephens (Jacksonville) kept the pressure on with a single to right field and came around to score on Zac Ching’s (VMI) double down the left-field line. Scott Dubrule (Jacksonville) capped the scoring with an opposite field single to score Ching from second for a 4-1 advantage.
The SwampDogs scored a run in the third inning to climb back within two. Jay Robinson (New Orleans) reached second on a single and an error. Matt Morrow (Wright State) immediately followed with a single to score Robinson and cut the deficit to two. Fayetteville was poised to add a couple more runs with two runners on with one out but the Pilots’ right-hander, Collin Liberatore (Pittsburgh) retired the next two batters to relinquish the threat.
The rest of the game was dominated by superb pitching beginning with Liberatore. The right-hander tossed four innings and gave up two runs (one earned) and struck out six. Pat Monteverde (Virginia Wesleyan) picked up the win after throwing a scoreless fifth inning. Ryan Fox (VCU) followed and retired all six batters he faced. Braun Miller (Malone) followed suit and tossed a scoreless eighth inning before Nathan Eaton (VMI) worked out of a jam by stranding two Dogs for his fourth save of the season.
The Pilots travel to Wilson for a road game on Tuesday night before returning home to face Morehead City on Wednesday night at War Memorial Stadium.
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The Coastal Plain League is the nation’s premier summer collegiate baseball league. Celebrating its 21st season in 2017, the CPL features 15 teams playing in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. The CPL has had nearly 1,300 alumni drafted and 97 of those – including 2011 AL MVP and Cy Young winner Justin Verlander – make their Major League debut; while another notable alum – Russell Wilson – won Super Bowl XLVIII. For more information on the Coastal Plain League, please visit the league website at www.coastalplain.com and follow us via Twitter @CPLBaseball.